How to Make an Impression During Your Interview

While your resume can get you in the door of a company, the interview decides whether you’re hired for the job you want. The key to a winning interview is to make a memorable (and of course, favorable) impression on the hiring manager — and that process actually starts before the interview itself.

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Here’s how you can prepare to wow your interviewers, and create a memorable picture of yourself as the perfect candidate for the job.

Prepare to impress

You know that you should be researching each company you apply to, and arming yourself with as much information as possible about their operations, their workplace culture, and their key staff. But to prepare for an interview, you also need to research yourself.

Think about how you’ll handle interview questions that are likely to come up, and have some answers prepared. For example, you’ll probably be asked what makes you qualified for this job. Create a short “elevator pitch” that encapsulates your skills, relevant accomplishments, and what you’ll bring to the position.

You’ll also need to prepare some questions to ask the interviewer — try to think of questions that aren’t likely to be covered in the course of the interview.

Dress like you’re already hired

Professional dress is a must for a successful interview, and nailing your interview outfit can go a long way toward making a good impression. If possible, find out how people who work at the company interviewing you dress for the office, and wear something that fits right in.

If you’re not sure, you can’t go wrong with a great suit. It’s always better to be overdressed than under-dressed—but don’t wear something too flashy that will draw attention away from you.

Fantastic first impressions

It’s instinctive for people to form an impression within a moment of meeting someone, so make yours count. When you first enter the interview space, pay attention to your posture and stride. Stand straight and walk (no ambling, strolling, or dashing) into the room, and project confidence that you’re in the right place.

Smile and greet the interviewer, and offer a firm (but not bone-crushing) handshake. Maintain eye contact during the introduction for a few extra seconds, but not so long that it gets awkward or uncomfortable. Finally, wait for the interviewer to ask you to have a seat.

Conquering the Q & A

If you’ve done your homework, the question-and-answer portion of your interview is likely to go smoothly. Be relaxed and focus on listening carefully to the questions, and giving coherent responses. If you’re not sure what the question means, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification.

One of the most important things you can bring to your interview answers is enthusiasm. Hiring managers are looking to hire someone who really wants the job — not someone who’s looking for a paycheck or a stepping stone on the way to another company. Demonstrate your enthusiasm by remaining positive, being engaged, and continuing to smile.

Use your opportunity to question

Invariably, the last question of any interview will be some form of, “Do you have anything you’d like to ask me?” The biggest mistake job seekers make is answering this question with “no.” This gives the impression that you’re not that interested in the job.

Have a number of questions prepared that you can ask at the end of the interview. Avoid questions with obvious answers, or those that have already been covered during the interview. Great questions will tie directly into the specific company you’re interviewing with, and prove that you’ve looked into them before coming to the interview.

Arrive at your next interview prepared to make an impression, and you’ll be hired before you know it. To learn more about how we can aid you in your job search, contact us today at (513) 651-9500 or by email at info@psychpros.com to find out more about how we can help you find your next assignment!

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